Lotus Elan

XJD 103G Elan S4

PostPost by: tvacc » Thu Mar 07, 2024 12:17 am

trw99 wrote:It left the factory as a Standard Lotus Elan Series 4 FHC in December 1968 on Weber carbs.

It is not a so called 'Black Badge Edition'. There was never such an Elan produced by the factory. They just happened to use up some black Lotus badges that had been made up before Jim Clark's death.

Tim

Tim,
It is nice to finally hear someone who might possibly agree with me that Graham Arnold told us at a LOG when we asked him about the "Black Badge" legend that he noticed they were running out of badges. Since it was his job to order new ones, he was instructed by Chapman to get some quotes on new ones. He got several quotes including some that were all black. Graham said when he gave the quotes the "old man" saw they were cheaper and he really liked that.

I posted this on Facebook a few days ago. Got all sorts or comments including quotes from guys that Lotus management saying this is not true. I replied that they may have changed the story after but that is what Graham told us. I also said, to quote a line from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Thu Mar 07, 2024 10:04 am

Tony, sadbrewer on here has shown three print cuttings, though did not attribute them. They claim that there was a 12 month period when Lotus fitted the black nose badges.

It becomes a chicken and egg situation. Did Arnold have the badges made up and then put out the story recounted in the cuttings? Or did the cuttings presage Arnold having the badges made?

Whatever the truth behind it, I stick with my factually correct statement that Lotus did not produce such an Elan; by which I mean that no Black Badge Elan was ever promoted or marketed by Lotus, no further articles or press releases were ever produced or have come to light, with direct reference to a so-called Black Badge Elan.

Furthermore, it would have been unthinkable, given what we know about Lotus administrative procedures at the time, for the firm to accurately predict that they would fit black nose badges for a twelve month period. They would have been more likely to have used up the batch, whether it took two months or twenty!

Regardless, the story about the black badges being a tribute to my hero racing driver Jimmy Clark are a nice touch and I don't think it is something we should all get too anxious about! Where I draw the line, however, is when people claim they have a 'rare black bade Elan'. There really is nothing rare about them and having a black badge does not warrant any additional value to what is already a rare car, as our Elans indeed are.

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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Thu Mar 07, 2024 2:30 pm

My 1969 +2 50/1703 came with the black badge top right as shown in the picture below.

I have quite a large collection of nose badges and often swap them around, but the black badge doesn't really suit darker colour schemes, so I just keep it safe in a drawer. The badge on the bottom left is an early "flat badge" that has a very narrow font, the bottom right is a black badge sticker in the wrong font probably meant for a wheel centre on a later car.

IMG_20240307_142143.jpg and
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PostPost by: The Veg » Thu Mar 07, 2024 4:12 pm

Spyder fan wrote:the bottom right is a black badge sticker in the wrong font probably meant for a wheel centre on a later car.


Correct, that's what was on the wheel centre caps of my '86 Turbo Esprit.
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PostPost by: M100 » Fri Mar 08, 2024 6:48 pm

I posted this here nearly 20 years ago, the 20th October 2004 to be precise, under the title “ Black badge origin - rediscovered information”

==
In Autosport there is a road test of Graham Arnold's S3

"Grahams's car is a Special Equipment coupe finished in non-standard
black - even the normally yellow and green Lotus bonnet badge has a
black background"

The date of the magazine?

April 5th 1968 - two days before Jim Clark was killed at Hockenheim
==
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PostPost by: tvacc » Fri Mar 08, 2024 6:56 pm

M100 wrote:I posted this here nearly 20 years ago, the 20th October 2004 to be precise, under the title “ Black badge origin - rediscovered information”

==
In Autosport there is a road test of Graham Arnold's S3

"Grahams's car is a Special Equipment coupe finished in non-standard
black - even the normally yellow and green Lotus bonnet badge has a
black background"

The date of the magazine?

April 5th 1968 - two days before Jim Clark was killed at Hockenheim
==




Hmmm. Seems to follow what Graham told us at the Lotus Owners Gathering. Maybe we can finally put this one to bed.
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PostPost by: marklowe » Mon Mar 18, 2024 4:24 pm

Looking at H&H auction website, it looks as though it didn’t sell. Along with another yellow S4 FHC with the same guide price.

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PostPost by: tvacc » Mon Mar 18, 2024 5:24 pm

[

Hmmmm,
I looked at this today as someone posted another item. With nothing going on in my computer business i was sitting here going through the posts. I am quite uncomfortable with my conclusion because of the statement from earlier in the post that was attributed to Mike Kimberly.
.
First, I met Mike at least once, so I cannot say he is a friend, but he is a man whose word can be trusted and if he says Colin told him that the black badges were to commemorate Jimmy's passing then it is TRUE! It may have started like Graham Arnold said, but based on Mr. Kimberly's statement I have to say that if Mike says there were black badges put on cars to commemorate Jim and Jochen's passing, then it happened. Mike would not make this up and if he says he got it right from Colins own lips..then he did. We were not there. He was.
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Mon Mar 18, 2024 9:17 pm

tvacc wrote:[

Hmmmm,
I looked at this today as someone posted another item. With nothing going on in my computer business i was sitting here going through the posts. I am quite uncomfortable with my conclusion because of the statement from earlier in the post that was attributed to Mike Kimberly.
.
First, I met Mike at least once, so I cannot say he is a friend, but he is a man whose word can be trusted and if he says Colin told him that the black badges were to commemorate Jimmy's passing then it is TRUE! It may have started like Graham Arnold said, but based on Mr. Kimberly's statement I have to say that if Mike says there were black badges put on cars to commemorate Jim and Jochen's passing, then it happened. Mike would not make this up and if he says he got it right from Colins own lips..then he did. We were not there. He was.


I tend to agree Tony, with one caveat. Mike may well have been told this by Colin, but the Guvnor wasn't afraid to embellish a story now and then! So I think Mike is telling the truth as he sees it. But who knows. I tend to think that given the timings of the black badge production prior to Jim’s death I tend to veer towards Graham Arnold’s view.

Just an opinion. I think the number of column inches devoted to this subject over the years could fill a novel. :D

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PostPost by: trw99 » Tue Mar 19, 2024 2:53 pm

[quote="tvacc"][ We were not there. He was.[/quote]

Tony, just to be pedantic for a moment, Mike Kimberley was not there at the time of Clark's death, since he joined Lotus in 1969.

As I say, I am being pedantic but also, I hope, historically accurate!

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PostPost by: Sadbrewer » Tue Mar 19, 2024 4:11 pm

trw99 wrote:
tvacc wrote:[ We were not there. He was.


Tony, just to be pedantic for a moment, Mike Kimberley was not there at the time of Clark's death, since he joined Lotus in 1969.

As I say, I am being pedantic but also, I hope, historically accurate!

Tim


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PostPost by: The Veg » Tue Mar 19, 2024 6:04 pm

trw99 wrote:Mike Kimberley was not there at the time of Clark's death, since he joined Lotus in 1969.


True, but since he joined the following year and stayed through the remainder of ACBC's life, it's completely possible and plausible that the subject may have come up at some point, even if not in an official capacity.
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